+
upworthy
Most Shared

A grieving dad wrote the most heartbreaking Grammy-nominated album of the year.

Jazz saxophonist Jimmy Greene was nominated for two Grammys at the awards show airing tonight. The nominations were his first.

Jimmy Greene in 2001. Photo by Gabe Palacio/Getty Images.


It was bittersweet moment for Greene, whose nominated album, titled "Beautiful Life," has its roots in tragedy.

Greene and his wife, Nelba Marquez-Greene, embrace. Photo by Don Emmert/Getty Images.

Greene's daughter, Ana, was one of 20 students killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in December 2012.

Photo by Don Emmert/Getty Images.

In January, Greene told CBS News that recording the album was his way of coming to terms with the enormous grief that followed his daughter's death:

"One of his songs from his album, 'Seventh Candle,' symbolizes the candle he'd never get to put on Ana's next birthday cake. She was just six — and a "half," as she would always emphasize to her parents — when she was killed.

Greene wrote the song around the time of her seventh birthday in 2013, playing it specifically on soprano saxophone because that is the closest range to his daughter's voice."

Since the Sandy Hook shooting, over 550 American children have died from gunshots.

Photo by John Moore/Getty Images.

Between 1999 and 2014, there were over 6,400 gun-related deaths of children age 14 and younger. Mosts of these were homicides, according to an NBC News analysis of CDC data.

One of them was Ana Marquez-Greene.

After Ana's death, Greene felt he didn't have a choice but to channel his feelings into his music. In a video interview, he told The Recording Academy that the music he composed "felt very much so like it needed to be documented" in the months after his daughter's death.

"I want the music to reflect the way that Ana lived," he wrote on his website.

In a "special message" on his website, Greene asks fans to urge their representatives in Congress to write common sense into America's gun laws to help prevent the next Sandy Hook.


Greene, center, with fellow Sandy Hook parents, President Barack Obama, and Vice President Joe Biden. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images.

"There has been much debate in Washington D.C. and in state legislatures nationwide about gun control policy in response to the Sandy Hook School murders," Greene wrote. "Your voice and your vote count! Let your elected leaders know you want to make our schools and communities safer. Write them, call them, email them, but please don't remain silent."

Until that happens, Greene's nominations are a testament to the power music has to express what words and data often can't.

Photo by Gabe Palacio/Getty Images.

While Greene says he's "thankful" and "humbled" by the honor, his wife, Nelba Marquez-Greene, believes his nominations and his music are most importantly a lesson in how we can move on from the worst moments in life.

"They say after a trauma, there's three normal responses. You know, fight, flight or freeze," Marquez-Greene told CBS. "And I think what Jimmy did is he showed and he is showing people that there's another way and that's create."

Image from Pixabay.

Under the sea...

True
The Wilderness Society


You're probably familiar with the literary classic "Moby-Dick."

But in case you're not, here's the gist: Moby Dick is the name of a huge albino sperm whale.

(Get your mind outta the gutter.)

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

More parents are taking 'teen-ternity leave' from work to support their teenage kids

Parenting through the teen years takes a lot more time and energy than people expect.

Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash

Raising kids through adolescence is not for the faint of heart.

When you have a baby, it's expected that you'll take some maternity or paternity leave from work. When you have a teen, it's expected that you'll be in the peak of your career, but some parents are finding the need to take a "teen-ternity leave" from work to support their adolescent kids.

It's a flip from what has become the traditional trajectory for modern parents. Despite the fact that the U.S. is the only developed nation in the world to not have mandated paid parental leave, most parents take at least some time off when a baby is born to recover physically from pregnancy and birth and to settle into life with their tiny new human. Many parents then opt to have one parent stay home full-time during their children's younger years, as full-time childcare is often cost prohibitive, and raising babies and toddlers requires an enormous amount of time, attention and energy.

Parents often return to work when their kids are in school full-time, and many feel a bit of a respite from the relentlessness of parenting as their kids become more independent and capable of doing things on their own. It's not that older kids don't need their parents, but their needs are different. Physical parenting gives way to more complex emotional parenting as kids get older, and for a while, those emotional challenges are somewhat simple.

Then the tween years come along. Then the teens. And for some parents, a realization hits that parenting kids through puberty takes almost as much time, attention and energy, as toddlers do. Only now, those needs are much more complicated and consequential.

Keep ReadingShow less

"The Carol Burnett Show" had one of the funniest outtakes in TV history.

"The Carol Burnett Show" ran from 1967 to 1978 and has been touted as one of the best television series of all time. The cast and guest stars of the show included comedic greats such as Tim Conway, Betty White, Steve Martin, Vicki Lawrence, Dick Van Dyke, Lyle Waggoner, Harvey Korman and others who went on to have long, successful comedy careers.

One firm rule Carol Burnett had on her show was that the actors stay in character. She felt it was especially important not to break character during the "Family" scenes, in which the characters Ed and Eunice Higgins (a married couple) and Mama (Eunice's mother) would play host to various colorful characters in their home.

"I never wanted to stop and do a retake, because I like our show to be ‘live,’" she wrote in her memoir, as reported by Showbiz Cheat Sheet. "So when the ‘Family’ sketches came along, I was adamant that we never break up in those scenes, because Eunice, Ed, and Mama were, in an odd way, sacred to me. They were real people in real situations, some of which were as sad and pitiful as they were funny, and I didn’t want any of us to break the fourth wall and be out of character.”

It was a noble goal, and one that went right out the window—with Burnett leading the way—in a "Family" sketch during the show's final season that ended with the entire cast rolling with laughter.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

People are debating the merits of a 24-hour daycare and the discussion is eye-opening

There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about the need for this.

StableDiffusion

Are 24-hour daycares a good idea?

Millions of American parents utilize daycare centers while they work. Since most people work during the day, most daycare center hours fall somewhere between 7:30am and 5:30pm. It's rare to find a daycare that's open after normal working hours.

But one "24-hour" daycare in Houston captured people's attention—and sparked a debate—when a mom posted about it on TikTok.

Adventure Kids Playcare in Houston isn't actually open 24 hours a day but it does offer childcare up to 10:00pm during the week and until midnight on Friday and Saturday nights. In the video, the mom drops her daughter off and we hear the employee tell her they close at midnight. The mom later says she picked her daughter up at 11:55pm.

Reactions to the video rand the gamut from "24-hour daycares are a brilliant idea for parents who work odd shifts" to "Moms shouldn't be leaving their kids at a daycare late at night just so they can go out," sparking a fascinating and eye-opening discussion.

Keep ReadingShow less

A dad is looking for a little more respect at home.

The title of dad or father is a sweet and respectful way to acknowledge a child's special bond with their male parent. It signifies love and respect and shows appreciation for his role in their life. But the title works both ways. The term dad reminds fathers of the responsibility to guide and protect their kids.

The importance of the unique role dads play in their kids’ lives is why a father named Steve was upset with his wife for repeatedly using his first name when referring to him with their preteen children.

The father vented about the situation and asked if he was wrong in a Reddit post with over 10,000 responses.

“My wife recently started using my first name when referring to me to our preteen kids, as in ‘Steve's gonna pick you up from school tomorrow,’” the father wrote on Reddit’s AITA forum. “I asked her not to when I first heard it, saying I don't really like when you use my first name to the kids. Can you say ‘your dad’ or ‘dad’?”

Keep ReadingShow less

Husband's portrait of wife is so bad that she nearly stops breathing

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder but what if what your eyes behold is objectively...not good? In what appears to be a creative way to spend quality time together for a married couple, things go hilariously wrong. Ted Slaughter, uploaded a video to his TikTok page of an activity he and his wife did together.

Slaughter's wife seems to be holding the phone so you can clearly see what appears to be a painting of Slaughter, who is sitting at the other end of the table in front of an easel. The text overlay on the video says, "husband and wife paint portraits of each other (gone wrong). But what could possibly be wrong, sure his wife's attempt isn't art gallery ready just yet but it's not bad.

Based on the critiques the man had of his wife's painting, surely his looks much closer to professional level work. Right?...Right?

Keep ReadingShow less